NOTHING SO STUPID
as a writer.
His life isn’t
, but he feels
like it is.
His rent’s due.
His father is
, yet he only
Some are small, some are momentous, all are real.
The days are shorter now and I am standing with my toes curled around a precipice that is called Winter and that will always suck me down, drowning, suffocating. There is hope in the promise of falling snow and crisp mornings, but only enough to take the edge off.
What really matters is hope, if you can find it. (Where? How? When?)
I am haunted by a memory: the choking sound of your last breaths, your empty stare as you looked at but through me, my panicked heartbeat and stifled scream as I grabbed your shoulders and shook you, shook you, willing you back to life, and breath.
Still you drifted; slipping away from me three times, finally gasping your last, your face blurred by my tears. Fear. Silence. A grief so deep, a chasm so wide, that I could spend my entire life filling it and it would never be enough.
There is life inside me, now, but I do not feel it and I would have ended it if you were still with me. But somewhere, a small voice whispered, and I listened. I wanted this life to be an extension of you, to have your eyes, and your heart, and your love. And so I could not do it. I thought of you, of your beautiful smile, and I could not choose anything but love, and life, and hope. For you. To remember you. To bring you to life, one more time.
When you return from vacation, you find that nothing has changed except you. Briefly, perhaps quietly, but you have changed. And if you don’t act quickly, do something different right now, soon, imminently, you will just re-settle into the comfort of the same day-to-day, forgetting that deep inside you something has been dying to be heard. Jumping on the bandwagon, you get caught up in work, chores, forgetting, life. Because who has time for self-reflection, anyway, and risks are just too damn scary to take when the status quo is tolerable.
when morning comes
having not slept at night
at least not the way you needed to
Dragging yourself out of bed
all the warmth, softness and peace
is stripped away from you
in one sudden jerk
leaving you raw
having just been skinned alive.
(But not quite.)
Welcome to another workday.
We’re all in this together.
It’s called hell.
There was a time when I was shy and quiet. When I would wait for your lead before acting, before speaking, before feeling. I would look down and avoid meeting your eyes because I was afraid of what I would find there. A coward? No; Just a bit too fragile sometimes. There was a time when I would fake my smile, and always be positive, because nobody likes a wimp and people don’t like it when they can’t cheer you up, because it makes them feel bad about themselves. So many times I pretended to be somebody I wasn’t, to make other people feel good.
That time is gone.
Now, I am the girl who looks at you without flinching. I am the girl who speaks first, and loudly, and often. Who bares her soul and doesn’t give a fuck about the consequences because if I make you uncomfortable that’s just too bad. I’m not here to make you feel good about yourself with sugar-coated lies. I look you in the eye, and force you to meet my gaze head-on, and I probe deeper and make you uncomfortable because I don’t care about you at the expense of loving myself. I say inappropriate things because they are also big truths, and I would rather be inappropriate than silent.
And I love you. Loudly and deeply and passionately and fully, when you drive me crazy, when you make my legs weak, when you make me want to scream, when you make me feel soft again. I love you in the sunshine of a summer morning, in the crisp winter air of an East-coast midnight sky, in the way you hold me close and plant kisses on my forehead, in the way you look at me when you don’t think I’m paying attention. I love you more when you have no idea what to say. When you let your eyes give it all away before you have a chance to hide behind a lie.
I am coming to see you on March 10th. It happened suddenly, late, on Friday night. You said you had 5 weeks off and nothing to do, so… I’m not going to say it. (But then you did, and the next day I asked you if you were sure, and I booked a flight to see you… using the credit I had on file from December, when I had bought a ticket to visit you and then had to cancel at the last minute because you were being an asshole.)
Things are different this time, and I am not sure how or why. Maybe it’s that we grow and evolve a little bit with each passing week and month, and the space between us allows for even more changes in each other’s absence. Lessons we learn. Perspectives we gain.
Maybe this is your way of trying to figure things out, trying to understand where I might fit in, with your life. Where you want your life to go. If you want this, if you want us to be a thing. And I am ok with that, because I need to figure the same out. And I am more certain than ever, that even though I will love you like this for the rest of my days, I will no longer tolerate you being an asshole.
I love you, but you are on thin ice. And I think you know it. It’s not a threat. It’s an observation. There is only so much back-and-forth you can do, and so much indecision I can tolerate before my self respect wears thin. And I love myself above all. I am patient with you, and I am understanding, but if you push too far, I will walk away.
And I am ok with that.
I think you know that, too.
"Are you all set for the weekend?" -(A coworker)
…what does that even mean? Are we heading into a zombie apocalypse? Should I have been stocking up on canned goods and first aid kits before Saturday morning comes? Wait, I’m not ready! I think I need another day at work. I can’t handle having two whole days off!
Sometimes the expressions we use sound so mind-numbingly idiotic that I have to struggle not to slap someone.
"Yes, asshole. It’s a weekend. What I’m not set for is any more stupid questions."
One night, we spoke. (Silently, always silently.) Big words jumbled on small, back-lit screens - the communication of our times.
We sifted through emotions and thoughts and dug through our hearts and came out no further. It’s the same old story: I love you, but you are afraid. You want me, yet your internal war is not finished.
We concluded as we have done before: I am here. (You know.) You think you want me. (I know.) But you don’t know where to begin or how to move. I could guide you, but the outcome would be insincere. And where would the sense be, in that?
Before I fell asleep, there was silence. My beating heart kept time and our silent words hung in the air, wrapped themselves into knots in my head, until my thoughts became my dreams, became another morning.
(Restless heart, when will you stop?)